Lessons from primaries

Thursday April 20 2017

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The numerous reports of malpractices, fraud and violence in the party nominations paint a dismal picture of our democracy.

However, it has not been all gloomy despite the enormous challenges the parties are facing.

The high turnout by voters to participate in picking candidates for the August 8 General Election is commendable.

So is the large number of people who have thrown their hats in the ring.

While vote bribery, violence and other vices must never be tolerated, quite laudable is the determination by the officials in the various parties to ensure that aspirants abide by the rules and have the required credentials to get cleared.

We have seen ODM, Jubilee and other parties cancel results and order repeats where there have been glaring malpractices.

And election officials who have engaged in wrongdoing have not been spared, either.

Those found messing up have been ejected from those positions.


However, there is a lot of room for improvement, and lessons the country needs to learn to make these primaries more transparent so that the playing ground in levelled for all participants.

The widespread messes point to the need to enhance the capacity of the electoral commission to take full charge of party primaries in future.

But the great enthusiasm to play a part in the choice of leaders every five years is a democratic legacy that all should cherish.